Sunday, April 22, 2007
By George Chellah
Sunday April 22, 2007 [04:00]
THE MMD has banned party members from speaking about Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)'s Katanga Province governor Moses Katumbi, party spokesperson Benny Tetamashimba said yesterday. Commenting on Dr Kenneth Kaunda's statement that the ruling MMD must pay Katumbi US $7 million for the maize he supplied them in 2001 for their election campaign, Tetamashimba said the party had prohibited talk about Katumbi.
"We have banned ourselves from speaking about Katumbi. He is above the politics we are doing. Let the government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs be commenting about that, especially on high profile persons like Katumbi. He is not an ordinary person now," Tetamashimba said.
"Katumbi is a senior government official in the DRC."
And Tetamashimba said it was not right to say that the MMD should pay Katumbi because it were individuals that benefited from him and not the party. "The US $7 million... it wasn't an issue in the Supreme Court during the petition so why are they talking about it now?
People should have brought it during that time if they knew it. They talked about motor vehicles but they didn't talk about it (US $7 million)," Tetamashimba said.
"Sata himself testified in the petition, why didn't he speak about it? Even VJ (former minister of information and MMD trustee). There are individuals who benefited and we want to know them, who are those? There are individuals who benefited and not the MMD. So they should pay and the government should not pay the money."
Commenting on Katumbi's statement that he was contracted by the Zambian government in 2001 to supply maize meal to MMD parliamentary candidates at reduced prices for the purpose of campaigns, Dr Kaunda said it was wrong for the MMD to transfer its indebtedness to the Zambian taxpayers.
On the constitution review process, Tetamashimba urged Dr Kaunda to desist from issuing statements over the enactment of the constitution because he failed to leave a better constitution for Zambia. "Dr Kaunda should be a father of the nation and guide the nation. What are the demonstrations for? He should have waited than him saying let's go and demonstrate with the Oasis Forum," he said.
Tetamashimba said Dr Kaunda needed to think twice over his declaration that he would join forces with the Oasis Forum over the people's demands for a new constitution.
"Which people is he talking about? Last year he de-campaigned Mwanawasa, he supported HH. After all that, people rejected his advice and voted for Mwanawasa. So let him think twice about that," Tetamashimba said. "Which people is he referring to because they are the same ones who voted for Mwanawasa just last year? Mwanawasa defeated him together with Hichilema."